Monday, April 15, 2013

Nebraska Sand Dunes

The posting of a video of the sand on the eastern plains of Colorado reminded me of these photos I took a couple of weeks ago on a road trip through the Nebraska Sandhills. Last summer numerous wildfires destroyed many hundreds of acres of grassland. The drought has exacerbated the problem, not giving the grasses the opportunity to regenerate. The situation is very serious for Nebraska ranchers who rely on the grass for their cattle.
Birdwood Creek Canyon
Burned canyons south of the Birdwood Creek
It is very obvious where the fire burned,
though the surround grassland isn't in much better shape.
A windmill sits idle amid the burned grasses.
The sand blows away in your hand.
The root systems of the bunch grasses holds a little sand.
These dunes will soon be blowing.
The denuded grassland reveals interesting bluffs.
The wind-blown sand resembles ripples on a beach.

The description of the Nebraska Sandhills includes "the largest formation of grass-stabilized sand dunes in the western hemisphere." Without the stabilizing influence of the grass, they are simply Sand Dunes.

Though we would prefer to have it in the form of rain, even moisture from the recent unseasonable snows is appreciated.

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